Zen Cart Pre-launch Checklist

Zen Cart Pre-launch CheckAfter many hours in front of your Zen Cart Store (not to mention the Zen Cart Support Forum) you are now ready to launch your online store.

But are you ready?

A great resource available to you is the Reviewer’s Corner on the Zen Cart Support Forum (www.zen-cart.com/forum). There are thousands of comments providing feedback to those who have requested a site review. A big thank you, on behalf of the Zen Cart community, to the Zen Cart development team and the forum members who, no doubt, spend countless hours reviewing Zen Cart stores and offering their advice, opinions and support.

As you read through the Reviewer’s Corner thread, you will notice the same issues are raised repeatedly – optimise your images, cross-browser compatibility and page defines – just to name a few.

The Zen Cart Pre-launch Check has been developed to assist Zen Cart store owners preparing to launch their store. I’m sure there will be updates to the checklist of points that I have missed, but I hope you find this start useful.

If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, please send me a message at feedback@kerrinhardy.com.

Download Zen Cart Prelaunch Checklist Download PDF version of the Zen Cart Pre-launch Check (now version 1.1!)

Zen Cart Install

  1. Latest version of Zen Cart and all security patches installed correctly
  2. Renamed /admin folder
  3. Latest version of any add-ons / contributions installed

Functional Testing

  1. Functional – tested with single products, multiple products, discounts, gift vouchers, etc
  2. Calculates shipping correctly
  3. Calculates tax correctly
  4. Payments received for test purchases!
  5. Secure Login and checkout pages (SSL)
  6. Prominent display of ‘real’ contact details
  7. Remove any test-only products
  8. Reset stock levels after test purchases (if required)

Product Listings

  1. Detailed descriptions for each product
  2. Update meta-tags for each product
  3. Products with attributes have a default attribute selected
  4. Sizing guide, info guide, recommended uses guide, etc provided, if required

Zen Cart Pages

  1. Updated all page ‘defines’ in the language files
  2. Updated page titles and page headings for any ‘More Information’ (page 2 …) pages used
  3. Update page title on home page (Zen Cart – the Art of E-commerce!)
  4. Update default email messages (Welcome, Checkout, Order Status, etc)


  1. Have good quality images for each product
  2. All images have been optimised (product images and theme images) for the web
  3. A number of images (perspectives and sizes) for each product
  4. Images are same size in product listings for uniform, professional look

Web Basics

  1. Spell and grammar check
  2. Verify all hyperlinks
  3. Check site for broken images
  4. Check site for valid XHTML
  5. Check site in different browsers (a functional test, don’t rely just on screenshot tests)
  6. Check site in different screen resolutions


  1. Ensure logo and header images are high quality
  2. Check color scheme with family, friends, others for desired ‘look & feel’ as well as accessibility
  3. Limit to one or two font styles throughout store
  4. Formatting, spacing, elements lined up, no strange lines, etc
  5. Styling of warnings, cautions and information alerts to complement store design
  6. Styling of all buttons (including Add-to-Cart, Sold Out, Free Shipping, etc) to complement store design
  7. Check for any CSS properties you may have left at default (that won’t match your new design’s color scheme)


  1. Install store logo / header for catalog pages
  2. Install store logo for html email templates
  3. Install store logo for admin pages
  4. Customised ‘nddbc.html’ page (displayed if DB id down) to include store branding and contact information
  5. Add favicon

Download Zen Cart Prelaunch Checklist Download PDF version of the Zen Cart Pre-launch Check (now version 1.1!)

If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, please send me a message at feedback@kerrinhardy.com.

  1. #1 by Fran on 5 May, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    Where do I put the Google analytics code? I am having problems with that code and also adding Javascript. I wanted to do a fade-in/fade-out effect to highlight specials on my site, but can’t get it to work….on a regular site yes…zen cart no. Same with the Google analytics.

    If you have some suggestions, I ‘d greatly appreciate it!

  2. #2 by Sue on 25 February, 2013 - 6:02 am

    I downloaded your book, Pre-launch check. It is all encoded in Word. I have Windows default checked. It is not at all readable. Have I done soething wrong. I am anxious to read this and maybe buy your other book/s and template.

  3. #3 by Leo McGough on 5 June, 2013 - 5:20 am

    Good stuff, great instructions. Thanks.

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